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Is Your Teen Depressed or Moody?

Learning how to decipher your teen can be near impossible even if you were to snag a copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Teenagers. You may be able to gather some good tips to handle behaviors although knowing whether your teen is depressed or moody will take more than just reading a book to figure out. When your teen continually retreats to their room, seems sad or lethargic, and does not want talk to you about what is happening, this is usual behavior for many teenagers, but it is also common behavior for someone who is depressed. 1 in 5 teenagers will experience a bout of depression at some point of their adolescence which can go unnoticed due to being unable to distinguish between teenagedom or depression without out any guidance. Since overlooking depression in a teen has become more common, depression screening for ages 12 and up has become a normal practice at doctor checkups. Pediatricians are now more on the lookout to diagnose depression before it becomes an unmanageable problem by using the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for proper assessment. They are prompted to use some of the suggested strategies from the AAP with your teen if they suspect any symptoms of depression. The point of the strategies is to provide treatment for those depressed teens who need help.

Talking to your teen without you in the room.

Your teen's pediatrician will have a nurse or a second party in attendance to ask them questions that they may feel uncomfortable saying in front of you due to being afraid of your reaction or causing you concern. You may get your feelings hurt to be asked to leave but think of the bigger picture of going to any lengths to provide your teen with the relief from the depression they are experiencing. If they need some privacy to get better, take the chance.

Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9).

The pediatrician will administer a few diagnostic questions that can provide better insight as to how severe the symptoms may be. Your teen will be asked about their mood, their appetite, their sleeping patterns, and any behavioral problems that may have arisen due to their depression. Doctors can better analyze your teen by using the 9-item module that can diagnose your teen with depression with 5 or more symptoms.


Most pediatricians will start with therapy to treat a depressed teen. Therapy is a great tool to assess what a teen is going through with their specific mental health issues.  Depression can be diagnosed through a chemical imbalance in the brain and some of these teens may require medication in severe cases, but pediatricians should only try medication as a last-ditch effort. Mental health is an important aspect to help your teen thrive in their adolescent years instead of mental and physical isolation. Use the expertise of your pediatrician to your advantage to help improve the quality of life for your teen to get them healthy.

Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center provides a clinically structured protocol with withdrawal management that is designed to specifically accommodate the needs of teenagers. We first help to remove the toxic chemicals out of the body and then move onto the treatment of the whole person.

Call us today to start living in recovery: 662-598-4214